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Helping Your Child Develop their Critical Thinking Skills

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Critical thinking skills are essential to a child’s overall development. Critical thinking allows children to make educated decisions, think clearly about what they’re asked to do in class, and allows them to remain focused. In this guide from an alternative school in London we take a look at the ways you can help your child with their critical thinking skills and see how they’ll help them with their future studies.





Encourage small debates in the home


Children will only learn about different viewpoints if they’re given the space to learn about them. When they’re much younger you can start asking questions that’ll make them think critically; examples can be if they agree with their sibling having different toys to them. When they’re older, ask them if they agree with someone else’s ideas. Let them feel open about their response - there’s no right or wrong answer, but you can pose these kinds of questions to get them talking.



Ask why often


Something is bound to not go your child’s way. Instead of giving them flat answers that they can’t respond to, ask why they think a certain way about something. For example, if a friend has taken one of their toys without permission, ask them why they should have the toy back. They should be able to make the connection over time and be able to even speak to their friend about getting that toy back.



Give your child the chance to join extracurricular clubs


While extracurricular clubs and societies are meant to be inherently fun, they also teach children a lot of different transferable skills. Even when playing football a child has to think critically about their next move and where they think is best to place themselves to save or take the ball from their opponent. Debating and English clubs are also fine examples of where clear critical thinking and intuition is needed from children.



Encourage open conversations


Talk to your child one-on-one each week to see how they’re getting on at school and how you can help them. Follow up with open questions each time they talk about a different subject in school or when they change subjects entirely. Encourage them to develop opinions of their own and how they can be improved by having more open and honest conversations with adults. They’ll feel much more confident in speaking to others and having rounded opinions thanks to regular critical thinking exercises.


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